10 Mar 2018

Cyclone Hola passes New Caledonia; damage appears to be minimal

2:38 pm on 10 March 2018
Tropical Cyclone Hola over New Caledonia

Tropical Cyclone Hola over New Caledonia Photo: Meteo Nouvelle-Caledonie

New Caledonia's eastern islands appear to have been spared the worst of Cyclone Hola.

The cyclone - which is still a category 3, but weakening - was forecast to pass close to the Loyalty Islands, but tracked further west.

Morgan Rigourd, who lives on the island of Lifou, said though the wind and rain were intense overnight, little damage appears to have been done.

The territory's civil security service and the Red Cross also said the damage seemed to be minimal.

Trees have blown over and there is some flooding and debris, but there were no casualties and no homes have been lost.

Curfews were due to be lifted on Lifou and the nearby island of Mare on Saturday afternoon.

Hola continued to weaken as it headed south towards New Zealand.